Suspicious about the resemblence of the surnames McOnlea and McConley (the latter is found mostly in Ireland and America), our Livingston/MacLea DNA Project solicited the participation of men bearing that name. One such person was found, and his y-DNA signature suggests origins in Scandinavia, or so-called "Viking blood". Most McConleys in America have been able to trace their heritage back to a Daniel McConley who is thought to have immigrated sometime between 1770 and 1790. But they had always hit the proverbial "genealogical brick wall" when attempting to cross the water to find Daniel's origins. Further research by our Project participant led him to a distant cousin who possessed a McConley family Bible. This Bible had an inscription at the front identifying the family as being native to Appin, Argyll. |
Since birth records for Appin only survive from 1762 onward, we will not likely be able to tie this McConley family to any particular ancestor using traditional documented resources. But y-DNA testing will someday surely lead us to others of this bloodline who might bear the surname Livingstone rather than McConley. It should be noted that the family pronounces their name "mc - CON - lee". It is very likely that families bearing the surname "Conley" will also fall into this bloodline. It was common practice to drop the "mac" from a name, but to leave the "c" which didn't really belong there in the first place.